Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina

03
Oct
13

10.3.13 … Just a little weird … :) …

 North Carolina, abandoned Land of Oz theme park:  “Autumn at Oz”:  where former employees and past visitors reminisce about this weird little amusement park … Just a little weird … 🙂

October 5th marks the 20th anniversary of a little-known festival that takes place at North Carolina’s abandoned Land of Oz theme park. The derelict park opens its doors to the public just once a year for “Autumn at Oz,” where former employees and past visitors reminisce about this weird little amusement park.

The Land of Oz theme park was open from 1970 to 1980 and its opening day saw over 20,000 visitors. Guests enjoyed strolling down the Yellow Brick Road, and hanging out with the Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the West. Afterwards, there was a show at the Emerald City, complete with a balloon ride, which was actually a modified ski lift. Visitors could enjoy a breathtaking view of the park amidst Beech Mountain’s gorgeous scenery. Unfortunately the death of the original owner before the park opened and a mysterious fire in 1975 marred the initial success of the park and it closed suddenly in 1980. Now, the Yellow Brick Road is missing a few of its bricks, but most of the park is still there, albeit in various states of disrepair.

This weekend, October 5th and 6th, the park is open for the 20th anniversary of “Autumn at Oz”. It’s only open once a year for a reunion of former employees and past guests.

via Next Weekend This Abandoned Wizard of Oz Theme Park Will Open.

04
Dec
11

12.4.2011 … FPC’s sanctuary looks beautiful! I love this old church … in the right place this Second Sunday of Advent …

FPC, Sunday School, Dr. Greg Snyder, history, archeology, Jesus, Josephus:  First in Sunday SchoolDr. Greg Snyder led our discussion of  the historical and archeological evidence supporting Jesus’ birth, ministry and death.

“Preparing Room: The Birth Narrative in Context”

This class will explore the first century Palestinian (social, political, economic and religious) context in conversation with the birth narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Dr. Greg Snyder (M.A., MDiv., PhD.) is currently a professor of Religion at Davidson College. Dr. Snyder teaches courses on New Testament history and literature, non-canonical gospels, Roman Religion, and the History of the Bible in America. His research interests include the social history of religious and philosophical groups under the Roman Empire; the results of this study are gathered in his book, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (London: Routledge, 2000). Dr. Snyder is also a co-editor of In Search of the Early Christians: Selected Essays of Wayne Meeks (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002) and has published several articles.

via First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.

historical …

In his writings, Josephus mentions the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians. He mentions Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, John the Baptist, Jesus (twice) and James the brother of Jesus. He also mentions the Essenes – the strict religious sect within Judaism that founded the Qumran community, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In fact, Josephus says that he spent some time with the Essenes. This is how he describes it (Cited by Carsten Peter Thiede in ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish origins of Christianity.’):

When I was about sixteen, I wanted to gain first-hand experience of our different movements. There are three: first, the Pharisees, second the Sadducees, and third the Essenes – as I have noted frequently. I thought I would be able to choose the best, by learning about all these schools. Thus I steeled myself for the task and studied the three courses with some effort.

In book 18 of the Antiquities, 63-64, the text of Josephus as we have it today says:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed it is lawful to call him a man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again on the third day, as the prophets of God had foretold these and ten thousand other wonders about him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

In fact, this text is a bit too much of a good thing for our purposes. It seems unlikely that a Jew such as Josephus would have written some of the things in this passage. Most scholars today agree that it has been altered by early Christians seeking to ‘improve’ it. It seems more likely that Josephus originally wrote something like this:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.’

via What the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus says about Jesus Christ.

Archeology

  • tomb containing ossuary of Caiphas
  1. Limestone bone box size of microwave.
  2. Inscription in Aramaic
  3. High class ossuary
  4. Knowledge of greek ?  Evidence that more knew Greek.
  5. Mortality rates … 40 of 63 in Caiphas tomb under 12.
  6. Miriam – body had greek coin in mouth. Greek custom … Pay to cross to afterlife.
  • Yechohanan’s remains
  1. Crucified nail in bone
  2. Romans there. Crucifixion roman.
  • Deep oppressive ubiquitous roman presence?
  1. Romans content to leave status quo as long as taxes flowed back to Rome.
  2. Most roman presence in cesaria except in pilgrimage times .. Passover.
  • Herod the Great
  1. Josephus has pages about him
  2. Sarcapoghus of Herod the Great
  3. Herodium –Theater with VIP box painted walls (Prepared for Mark Anthony); also friend of Cesar Augustus .. Helpful in conquer Egypt
  4. Grest builder:  cesaria, Masada, herodium, temple in Jerusalem
  5. Caught in vice: Jewish vs Greco roman. Romans eagle above entrance to tomb
  6. 5 wives.10 children very conniving.
  7. “Rather be herod’s pig than his son!”In his advancing paranoia, he was continually writing to Rome for permission to execute one or two of his sons for treason. Finally even his patron and friend Augustus had to admit, “I’d rather be Herod’s pig than his son.” It was not only a play on the similar sounding Greek words for son and pig, but a wry reference to the fact that pork, at least, was not consumed by Jews.via History of King Herod: Why was he called Great? — Bill Petro.
  8. Death and everything unraveled …Judea carved up among 3 sons ..
  • Slaughter of the infants .. Tintoretto painting
  1. Josephus – Herod rounded up and killed young men on his death
  2. But slaughter of infants very similar to Moses.
  3. Birth narrative theologically motivated … Literature
  • Interesting tidbit … Netzer, archeologist,  died at site.

JERUSALEM — Ehud Netzer, one of Israel’s best-known archeologists who unearthed King Herod’s tomb near Bethlehem three years ago, died on Thursday after being injured in a fall at the site. He was 76.

Mr. Netzer was leaning on a wooden safety rail on Monday when it gave way, sending him tumbling 15 feet. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem with critical injuries and died there.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the death “a loss for his family, for scholars of Israel’s history and for archeology.”

Mr. Netzer, who was professor emeritus of archeology at Hebrew University, had led high-profile digs across the country and helped educate several generations of Israeli archeologists.

After three decades of research, he was the pre-eminent expert on Herodium, a fortified palace complex that Herod built atop a small mountain near Bethlehem when he ruled in the decades just before the birth of Jesus. Herod, the Rome-appointed king of Judea from 37 to 4 B. C., was famed for his monumental structures, including the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the desert fortress of Masada near the Dead Sea and Herodium.

via Ehud Netzer, Archeologist Who Unearthed Herod’s Tomb, Dies at 76 – NYTimes.com.

FPC, Rev. Roland Purdue, worship: The sermon, “A world Whirled and Staggered,” …

Notes:

  • Isaiah 7:10-14 (RSV)10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

    13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.

    via Isaiah 7:10-14 “Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,…” RSV – Online Bible Study – Online Bible Study Tools.

  1. Staggering things but no one aware of anything in particular.
  2. Ahaz pious and refuses to test God
  3. isaiah: God give sign if you will trust in Lord
  4. Women give birth all the time? Probably child born of Ahaz or Isaiah … Isaiah known for naming children prophetically.  Probably of Isaiah.
  5. Ahaz refuses
  • Matthew 1:18-25Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

    20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

    22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

    24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

    via Bible.

  1. 7 centuries later
  2. After Jesus birth and death, Matthew and Christian community take the Isaiah prophesy
  • Peace candle only God’s gift allow us to enjoy that peace
  • Salvation among us because of Gid’d gift
  • Gift uniquely bundled up on a child
  • Since birth of Jesus no child ever the same.
  • Time to be responsible adults and reach out to the children ours or another. Say to child that they are a sign of God in your life.

Nobel Prize, economics, macroeconomics, Great Recession: Fascinating …

 “If it’s a prank,” she whispered, “they’re doing a pretty good Swedish accent.”

At the same hour, near the campus of New York University in Manhattan, Thomas J. Sargent was already wide awake. He, too, had received an unexpected call.

Stockholm was on the line. The two men, intellectual sparring mates for more than 40 years, had won the Nobel in economic science. (They are to collect it on Saturday.)

And yet, in this time of economic angst, with the fate of the euro and the course of the global economy uncertain, these two Americans have reached the pinnacle of a profession that, to many, seems to have failed miserably. The financial crisis of 2008-09, the Great Recession, the debt mess in Europe — few economists saw all of it coming. For all its elegance, modern macroeconomics seemed to provide little help when the world needed it most.

Today, solutions to our economic troubles, from onerous government debt to high unemployment, remain elusive. And the field of economics, like Washington politics, seems as polarized as ever.

Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent neither prescribe cures nor forecast the future. Nor do they deal in the sound bites of talking heads on cable TV. They are reluctant celebrities, men whose work can baffle even Ph.D.’s.

So it comes as a surprise, not least to Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent, that these two now find themselves thrust into an uncomfortable spotlight. Conservative voices, like the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, have claimed them as their own. The men’s work on economic cause and effect and the theory of rational expectations — which maintains that people use all the information available in making economic decisions — proves that Keynes had it wrong, these commentators say.

It would be a provocative thesis — if it were true. But Mr. Sims and Mr. Sargent say their work is being misread. Both, in fact, are longtime Democrats who maintain that government can, and should, play a role in economic affairs. They stand behind many recent policies of the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve. They even have some ideas about how European governments might defuse the running crisis on the Continent.

They won their Nobel for “their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy,” in the academy’s words. What that means, in part, is that they have done some serious math. Today, ideas they largely formed in the 1970s and ’80s help shape the thinking inside the Fed and on Wall Street.

via Nobel Winners in Economics – The Reluctant Celebrities – NYTimes.com.

 

movies, J Edgar, biopic, history:  Always fascinated by K Edgar hoover … want to see J. Edgar (2011) – IMDb…. was he gay?

Sitting in front of Hoover’s grave in Congressional Cemetery (an inspired touch) Schwarz argues that in the movie, “Mr. Hoover was portrayed as an individual who had homosexual tendencies and was a tyrannical monster…That is clearly not true.” To prove his point, Schwarz mentions that the real Hoover wrote personal notes to his agents to mark births, deaths and anniversaries. For Schwarz this is clear enough evidence that Hoover was not an administrative monster with no social life. But it is the same love of rules that also implies to Schwarz that there was no chance that Hoover was homosexual.

Schwarz’s belief is based on the notion that Hoover condemned extra-marital affairs and anyone who was homosexual was considered a “security risk.” (Although if Armie Hammer was your assistant you might bend the rules, too.) For Schwarz, there is no way a man who condemns homosexuality could possibly be gay. Apparently he has chosen to ignore the many former Congressmen and religious leaders who put the lie to that belief and is also completely unaware of the human capacity to protest too much.

via Ex-FBI Agents Angered by Clint Eastwood’s Portrayal of J. Edgar Hoover as Gay in New Biopic | Entertainment | TIME.com.

Ayn Rand, yoga, lululemon, mash-up:  Interesting mash-up!  And that is the first time I have used that term!  Atlas Stretched: What Ayn Rand, yoga, and lululemon’s new shopping bags have in common. – Slate Magazine.

The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing something selfish and virtuous at the same time. You are sweating and suffering and honing a “watchful mind,” but also taking a break from your daily burdens and acquiring fantastic-looking abs. And that’s the genius of Ayn Rand: She made egoism the ultimate good. What Christianity labels as the unfortunate consequence of original sin, Rand saw as man’s natural and best state. (Interestingly, while Ayn Rand’s atheism bothers conservative evangelicals, it seems to bother some of them less than does yoga, which they view as paganism parading as a health movement. John Galt, at least, would have shared their hatred of Obamacare.)

— Slate on the Who Is John Galt quasi-meme and what Aynd Rand and yoga have in common

via curiosity counts – The great appeal of yoga is that you are doing….

‘Leonardo da Vinci’ , National Gallery in London, travel, museum exhibits, London: I want to go, I want to go …

Despite all the madness Mr. Syson, who is leaving the National Gallery to become curator of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Met in January, has a message he hopes the exhibition is delivering: Realizing that Leonardo has recently been prized more as a scientist than as an artist, he wants the public to see how painting was actually central to the master’s way of thinking. Judging by the show’s popularity, that point is getting across.

“I don’t mean to sound like a mystical priest, but on some level these paintings communicate soul to soul,” he said. “Great art does work on people in mysterious ways.”

via‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Blockbuster at National Gallery in London – NYTimes.com.

 Great White,  Wilmington NC, North Carolina:  dun-dun! dun-dun! dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

This is a great PR opportunity for the Iphone 4s – a Massachusetts man captured HD footage of an 18-foot Great White shark off the coast of North Carolina over the weekend. Matt Garrett and friends were 25 miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach on a day fishing trip when out of the deep the shark came.

The footage is as stunning as it is chilling, particularly given the calm waters on that sun-filled day.

“Off in a distance we saw two big fins sticking up in the water. We thought it was a couple Atlantic Sunfish or two dolphins. As the two fins approached a little closer, we noticed it was a giant shark.” Garrett said.

Watch the video for all the details and think twice before you surf in Hatteras again.

via Incredible Great White Footage Captured off North Carolina – USATODAY.com.

Davidson College, Davidson basketball:  Talking points …

One of the main points of emphasis on this year’s Wildcats’ team has been to make the game go as fast as it can go.

via Davidson sets fast pace, keeps Furman on the run | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

David Foster Wallace, academic resources: Want to know what it would be like to have David Foster Wallace as a professor? Check out his English 102 syllabus …  I had to check out who he was  …

David Foster Wallace, whose prodigiously observant, exuberantly plotted, grammatically and etymologically challenging, philosophically probing and culturally hyper-contemporary novels, stories and essays made him an heir to modern virtuosos like Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo, an experimental contemporary of William T. Vollmann, Mark Leyner and Nicholson Baker and a clear influence on younger tour-de-force stylists like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Safran Foer, died on Friday at his home in Claremont, Calif. He was 46.

A spokeswoman for the Claremont police said Mr. Wallace’s wife, Karen Green, returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself. Mr. Wallace’s father, James Donald Wallace, said in an interview on Sunday that his son had been severely depressed for a number of months.

via David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at 46 – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com.

Book cover. Click to enlarge.

 

Annotated pages . Click to enlarge.

Annotated pages from David Foster Wallace’s teaching copy of C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Ransom Center.

A small but significant portion of the David Foster Wallace archive represents his teaching career, from his graduate school years through to his work as a faculty member at Pomona College in the years before his death. Wallace not only had high expectations for his students, but took his own role as a teacher very seriously. Syllabi, paper topic handouts, quizzes, vocabulary lists, heavily annotated teaching texts, and other documents dating from the late 1980s to 2008 are represented in the collection. Shown here are assignments and books representing various periods in his teaching career.

via Teaching materials from the David Foster Wallace archive.

Kodak, brand, “creative destruction”:  Kodak was the best … I remember the first time I bought Fuji film!

Kodak Brownie and Instamatic cameras were once staples of family vacations and holidays — remember the “open me first” Christmas ad campaigns? But it may not be long before a generation of Americans grows up without ever having laid hands on a Kodak product. That’s a huge comedown for a brand that was once as globally familiar as Coca-Cola.

It’s hard to think of a company whose onetime dominance of a market has been so thoroughly obliterated by new technology. Family snapshots? They’re almost exclusively digital now, and only a tiny fraction ever get printed on paper.

Eastman Kodak engineers invented the digital camera in 1975; but now that you can point and click with a cheap cellphone, even the stand-alone digital camera is becoming an endangered species on the consumer electronics veld. The last spool of yellow-boxed Kodachrome rolled out the door of a Mexican factory in 2009. Paul Simon composed his hymn to Kodachrome in 1973, but his camera of choice, according to the lyrics, was a Nikon.

It’s not uncommon for great companies to be humbled by what the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter called the forces of “creative destruction.” Technology, especially digital technology, has been the most potent whirlwind sweeping away old markets and old strategies for many decades. Changing economics and global competition have reduced behemoths of the past, such as General Motors, into mice of the present.

via Kodak’s long fade to black – latimes.com.

Great Recession,  European Financial Mess:  Help …

Much like our own recent housing crisis, the European financial mess is unfolding in a foreign language. It is the lingua franca of financial obscurity — “sovereign credit spreads” and other terms that most people don’t need, or care, to know.

Yet the bottom line is simple: Europe’s problems are a lot like ours, only worse. Like Wall Street, Germany is where the money is. Italy, like California, has let bad governance squander great natural resources. Greece is like a much older version of Mississippi — forever poor and living a bit too much off its richer neighbors. Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia are like the heartland states that learned the hard way how entwined so-called Main Street is with Wall Street. Now remember that these countries share neither a government nor a language. Nor a realistic bailout plan, either.

Lack of fluency in financialese shouldn’t preclude anyone from understanding what is going on in Europe or what may yet happen. So we’ve answered some of the most pressing questions in a language everyone can comprehend. Though the word for “Lehman” in virtually any language is still “Lehman.”

via Translating the European Financial Mess – NYTimes.com.

Chelsea Clinton: Very enjoyable article … I wonder why she named her dog “Soren” [Kierkegaard]?

OVER a series of casual dinners at neighborhood restaurants near her Flatiron District apartment in the spring, Chelsea Clinton began talking to a couple of longtime friends about something she’d been mulling for a while.

It was quite an assertion from someone who — despite the very public profile of her parents, one a former president and the other the current secretary of state — had lived most of her 31 years at a far remove from the spotlight.

And in her most high-profile move so far, she has taken a job with NBC News as a special correspondent, contributing to the network’s “Making a Difference” franchise. On Dec. 12, Ms. Clinton will make her first appearance on the prime-time newsmagazine “Rock Center With Brian Williams,” with a segment she developed about a nonprofit organization in Pine Bluff, Ark.

As she headed to the airport in Little Rock, Ark., on Friday evening, after filming her NBC segment, Ms. Clinton discussed in a phone interview her decision to take on a more public role. “My parents taught me to approach the world critically, but also to approach it with a sense of responsibility,” she said.

Mr. Mezvinsky, a former Goldman Sachs banker, will soon start a hedge fund with a friend. The couple’s apartment, shared with a miniature Yorkshire terrier named Soren, after the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, is said to be overflowing with books. On the phone from Arkansas, Ms. Clinton talked about her husband’s continuous support and their habit of talking “about everything, almost sometimes ad nauseam.”

via Chelsea Clinton, Living Up to the Family Name – NYTimes.com.

Newt Gingrich, Maureen Dowd: scathing!

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare.

Newt’s the kind of person whom child labor laws were created to curb. He sounds like a benign despot with a colonial subtext: Until I bring you the benefits of civilization, we will regard you as savages.

He’s Belgium. The poor are Congo.

via Out of Africa and Into Iowa – NYTimes.com.

18
May
11

‎5.18.2011 … Having the gutters ripped off your house is a strange and noisy process … and one of those maintenance things that gives you absolutely no pleasure.

Elizabeth Musser, Sweetest Thing, bookshelf, kith/kin:  So excited, my preview copy of Sweetest Thing came yesterday. Its author is childhood friend Elizabeth Goldsmith Musser. Sweetest Thing is set in the 30s. I have loved her earlier historical novels set in Atlanta … can’t wait to start this one.

Elizabeth Musser, Bestselling Author- Entertainment With a Soul.

 adventures, college, kith/kin:  One of my kith children Liza is on this summer’s VOR.  What a great experience … You go, Ninja Girl!

Voice of the Rivers (VOR) is an expedition-based program focused on the interdisciplinary study of a river from its source to its end. Student team members paddle the river and earn six hours of college credit while taking two academic courses and interacting with a variety of leaders and program managers that support the river, media organizations and conservation groups. This summer Brevard College is once again sponsoring the Voice of the Rivers program. From May 15th-June 2nd thirteen Brevard College students and two faculty members will follow the Rappahannock River from the Blue Ridge Mountains near Front Royal, Virginia to the Chesapeake Bay at Deltaville, Virginia. The VOR Team will travel approximately 184 miles by foot, canoe and sea-kayak with primitive camping each night. VOR students—whose majors include Art, Religious Studies, Environmental Science, Exercise Science, Psychology, Business and Organizational Leadership and Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education—will post daily journal entries, photos and videos of their travels and experiences online using Facebook, blogs and the Brevard College Web site.

via Voice of the Rivers 2011.

Georgia politics, kith/kin:  Thankfully my brother turned this down … but man it is a good deal if you have it … I know my husband has earned it from his extensive work travel.

And you were wondering why — unlike you — certain Georgia lawmakers have a smile on their faces when headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

via Your morning jolt: Delta gives upgrades to Casey Cagle, state lawmakers | Political Insider.

travel, transportation, US, kith/kin:  My kith daughters have taken if from DC to Charlotte and it is cheap and OK.  I hope it does not undermine enhanced rail in the US.

BUSINESSWEEK published a big feature earlier this month on the express buses that are taking over city-to-city routes all over America. The bus, apparently, is now America’s fastest-growing way to travel, and you can thank BoltBus, Megabus, and their progenitors—express Chinatown buses like Fung Wah—for the change. Fung Wah and its contemporaries made revolutionary innovations in the bus business. They seem obvious in retrospect, as revolutionary innovations often do: curb-side pickup, express service between big cities, and super-cheap fares that you can buy online. To that, corporate successors like Bolt and Mega added more comfortable seats, cleaner buses, mobile apps, and WiFi. A new way to travel was born.

The problem, as Businessweek’s Ben Austen decribes it, is that express buses have so changed “the way Americans—especially the young—travel” that “they may help kill plans for new railroads.”

via Express buses: Is there a “Megabus effect?” | The Economist.

Charlotte Zoo, Charlotte, Davidson, Davidson College:  Davidson is the name of a turtle donated to the traveling zoo exhibit … Did you know Charlotte is trying to get a zoo?

Turtle

The organizers of the planned Charlotte Zoological Park (CZP) have big ideas about building a high-quality facility where the public can view and learn to appreciate creatures of the wild.

A first step in their plan is a mobile zoo of a few “ambassador animals” who will make educational sorties to area schools and civic groups.

And one of the first ambassadors selected for this duty is an eastern box turtle named “Davidson.”…

CZP is now hoping the college can help acquire other herpetological species for its educational program, including a corn snake and softshell turtle.

CZP is a non-profit organization founded in 2008 dedicated to the mission of creating a world-class zoological facility in the Charlotte. The group intends to educate, entertain and inspire people by bringing them face-to-face with wildlife and providing opportunities to participate in animal and habitat conservation.

via “Davidson” the Turtle Will Serve as Public Ambassador for Planned Charlotte Zoological Park

labyrinth, history, health, facts, random:   OK, I am on a labyrinth kick … I wish I had started this movement in the US … it is really a good thing.

What Is A Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are ancient human symbols known to go back at least 3500 years and probably much older. They appeared on most inhabited continents in prehistory, with examples known from North & South America, Africa, Asia and across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. The labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the twelfth & thirteenth centuries. The most famous extant design is the example in the nave floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres outside of Paris. This labyrinth was built of honey colored limestone with marble lines around the year 1200 and is now over 800 years old.

Why Do We Walk Labyrinths?

A labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking meditation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. There are no tricks, choices or dead ends in a labyrinth walk. The same path is used to return to the outside. Combining a number of even older symbols, including the circle, spiral and meander, the labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back out into the everyday world.

Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity (creative, intuitive, imaginative), and can induce or enhance a contemplative or meditative state of mind. It is a tool which can clear the mind, calm our anxieties during periods of transition and stress, guide healing, deepen self-knowledge, enhance creativity, allow for reconciliation, restore feelings of belonging to a community, and lead to personal and spiritual growth.

For many walkers the labyrinth becomes a metaphor for the journey of life: although full of twists and turns, each of us is on a single path through his or her life, and yet each person’s journey is a separate and distinct qualitative experience. In walking labyrinths, modern seekers are emulating and recapturing the pilgrimage tradition of many ancient faiths.

via The Labyrinth Company.

Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute by Dr. Herbert Benson has found that focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson calls the ‘relaxation response’. This effect has significant long-term health benefits, including lower blood pressure and breathing rates, reduced incidents of chronic pain, reduction of insomnia, improved fertility, and many other benefits. Regular meditative practice leads to greater powers of concentration and a sense of control and efficiency in one’s life. Labyrinth walking is among the simplest forms of focused walking meditation, and the demonstrated health benefits have led hundreds of hospitals, health care facilities, and spas to install labyrinths in recent years.

via The Labyrinth Company.

  Sister Margaret, our leader and coordinator shared that the labyrinth can be a representation of one’s life path to the “center,” whatever that center means to a person.  We so often look “up” for the Divine, but the labyrinth teaches us that our path with God is horizontal, and each step is really an opportunity to be in the center in that present moment.  In the labyrinth, there are no dead ends, so one can truly focus on each step rather than looking ahead to plan which turn to take. The path of the labyrinth, like the path of life, does wind and change direction but our purpose is to keep walking it with faith.

via Lessons from the Labyrinth « Yogiclarebear’s Blog.

google doodles, internet traffic:  Found this very interesting.  I for one always research the ones I do not know … and the ones I really like. I good example is the one below … May 9, 2011 – Roger Hargreaves (Wikipedia page is the first result).  I of course had to immediately look it up … I had never heard of Roger Hargreaves.

As far as I know, you can’t convince Google to create a Doodle for you. However, should you get lucky, you better be ready to turn on the bandwidth. All hail the Doodle.

via How Much Traffic Does a Google Doodle Drive? The Data Says, A Ton – Steve Rubel.

Blackbeard, pirates, history, North Carolina, kith/kin:  I love pirates … We teased ET that he was Blackbeard’s child … since his real name was EDward Teach …

The work to retrieve an anchor from the wreck of what is believed to be the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship will begin Thursday off the North Carolina coast, but what’s underneath that artifact is just as interesting to researchers.

The anchor is the second-largest item on the site of what’s believed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge, outsized only by another anchor, project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing said Wednesday. It’s about 13 feet long with arms that are 8 feet across. The other anchor is about 7 inches longer.

The largest exhibit of the shipwreck’s artifacts will be shown starting June 11 at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

In 1717, Blackbeard captured a French slave ship and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard, whose real name was widely believed to be Edward Teach or Thatch, settled in Bath and received a governor’s pardon. Some experts believe he grew bored with land life and returned to piracy.

He was killed by volunteers from the Royal Navy in November 1718 – five months after the ship thought to be Queen Anne’s Revenge sank.

via Blackbeard’s anchor subject of dive off NC coast | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

google, google searches, recipes:  I, too, have searched for banana bread!

Chicken, lasagna, meatloaf and banana bread recipes were also sought after. (Why banana bread? Could there have been a surfeit of bananas browning on kitchen counters the world over?)

via Google’s Most Wanted Recipes – NYTimes.com.

photos, Facebook, technology:  I have been planning to make several book s for years … now they are going to do it for me!

This week, I tested an effort by photo-sharing sites to win back users’ attention: by importing photos from none other than Facebook, itself. With your permission, these sites access your Facebook page’s photos, as well as the pages of any friends who share their Facebook photos with you, and use these images to make photo albums—for online or for the coffee table.

I tested Shutterfly Inc.’s new Custom Path for making photo books, which produced a handsome book but didn’t link as smoothly as it should with Facebook. I also tried a beautiful new website called ZangZing that grabs and organizes images from a variety of social networks to create digital albums.

via Photo Books From Facebook, Shutterfly Zing Zang and Custom Path Review | Katherine Boehret | The Digital Solution | AllThingsD.

Meck-Dec Day, anniversaries:

This Friday, May 20th marks the 236 anniversary of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, known locally as the Meck Dec. Check out the public library’s page for some history and background.

Davidson, town and college, did not exist until the 62nd anniversary in 1837, but students and townspeople were soon joining the celebrations, either by traveling to Charlotte or hosting events on campus.

via The Davidson College Archives & Special Collections blog — Around the D.

05
May
11

5.5.2011 … cinco de mayo … and the testing begins …

parenting, empty nesters, women’s issues, me:

As far as I can tell, my own generation of mothers doesn’t really do the empty nest thing, no matter how large the hole left behind and no matter how pressing the grief. Unlike our mothers, we generally don’t go back to school to finally launch careers or, like our grandmothers, embrace the newly won status of matron and then grandmother. Unlike past generations, today’s middle-agers typically started their careers before marriage and motherhood. As for our wardrobe choices, my own concession to aging mainly involves wearing low-heeled shoes, but otherwise, like practically every woman I know, I continue to dress like I did in my student days. You know the uniform: jeans and a T-shirt or blouse, with clogs or sneakers or sandals.

There are other reasons we don’t stop to realize that we’re fretting over our empty nests. With the endless options for instant communications, we’re able to check in with the kids, or vice versa, on an embarrassingly regular basis. When my eldest went off to college four years ago, a friend of mine who was a year ahead of me in the kid-launching game reassured me. Don’t worry, he said: His wife and their college-age son “text at least once a day.” Another friend, whose eldest is studying abroad, told me that she regularly talks to him. “I can Skype daily without any big buildup or pressure that this is the big, expensive, long-distance call,” she said. “It’s easy to communicate, and it doesn’t cost anything.”

via Women on the Verge of an Empty Nest – Ideas Market – WSJ.

Swan House, Atlanta, places, kith/kin:  My father’s close friend grew up in the Swan House.  I can’t look at a picture of the house without smiling …. great stories …

Swan House.

education, public education, Atlanta:  A new high school for Buckhead ….

Atlanta Public Schools finalized this week the purchase of a 56-acre site in northwest Atlanta for the city’s new Buckhead-area high school. Final cost of the purchase totaled $55.3 million.

The site, at the former IBM complex on Northside Parkway, will replace North Atlanta High School on Northside Drive. The new school is scheduled to open in August 2013. The North Atlanta campus will then be converted into a second middle school in Buckhead, relieving an overcrowded Sutton Middle School on Powers Ferry Road near Chastain Park.

via APS finalizes land deal for new Buckhead high school  | ajc.com.

science, Albert Einstein, kudos: … Scientists affirmed “his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.”

The longest experiment in space physics began with three men in a university swimming pool arguing about Einstein. It ended Wednesday, after 52 years and $750 million, with scientists affirming his theory of relativity after studying the most perfect spheres ever made as they orbit around the Earth.

Called Gravity Probe B, the exotic experiment measured how the revolving mass of Earth imperceptibly twists the fabric of space in a test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. By one finding, the distortion amounts to 1.1 inches off true across the 24,900-mile circumference of Earth.

via Researchers Spent $750 million—and 52 Years—Affirming Theory of Relativity – WSJ.com.

food/drink, beer, George Washington: 🙂

We cannot tell a lie: Even George Washington needed to take the edge off sometimes.

The founding father and first president of the republic was a man of the people when it came to his drink of preference. His “Notebook as a Virginia Colonel,” dated from 1757, includes a handwritten recipe for “small beer.”

George Washington’s recipe for “small beer”. For a larger version, scroll to the end of this post.

That recipe, along with many of Washington’s other papers, is part of the New York Public Library’s collection. This month, the library is partnering with Shmaltz Brewing Company to recreate a modern version of the porter, to celebrate the centennial of its Stephen A. Schwarzman building.

Just 15 gallons will be brewed and offered for tasting. Local brewers Peter Taylor and Josh Knowlton have taken the liberty of tweaking the recipe, which the NYPL has dubbed “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”

The brewers made batches of the beer, one with molasses — which Washington used — and one without, substituting malted barley for the fermentable sugar.

“Back then, they didn’t really have quite the same understanding of brewing science that we do now,” said Josh Knowlton.

Of Washington’s beer, “it’s pretty light, pretty dry, medium-bodied but roasty,” Knowlton said. “We used some roasted malts in there so it’s definitely got some of a roasted, chocolaty, little bit of a coffee flavor.”

via New York Public Library’s Tasty Treasure: George Washington’s Beer – Metropolis – WSJ.

news, Charlotte, Uptown power outage:  John and I have lived and worked in Charlotte for almost 30 years … power outage with no weather cause.

Duke Energy has restored power after an outage in uptown Charlotte that impacted a portion of Bank of America Plaza.A number of employees told the Observer that the power went out around midday at the Bank of America Plaza building.Duke Energy reported about 230 power outages in Mecklenburg County, most of them near Center City.The company also said more than 100 customers near the intersection of Trade and Tryon streets were without power.Duke Energys website showed that power was restored to the area by 4:30 p.m. Officials have not yet said what caused the outage.

via Power restored in uptown Charlotte | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper.

food:  Yuck …

What is often in shredded cheese besides cheese?

Powdered cellulose: minuscule pieces of wood pulp or other plant fibers that coat the cheese and keep it from clumping by blocking out moisture.

Cellulose can improve the texture of packaged food products, including bottled chocolate milk shakes.

One of an array of factory-made additives, cellulose is increasingly used by the processed-food industry, producers say. Food-product makers use it to thicken or stabilize foods, replace fat and boost fiber content, and cut the need for ingredients like oil or flour, which are getting more expensive.

Cellulose products, gums and fibers allow food manufactures to offer white bread with high dietary fiber content, low-fat ice cream that still feels creamy on the tongue, and allow cooks to sprinkle cheese over their dinner without taking time to shred.

via Packaged-Food Producers Increasingly Turn to Cellulose – WSJ.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror, man’s best friend:  Didn’t realize they used dogs in this capacity.

While many Americans are anxious to meet and commend the team of Navy SEALs who raided the compound in Abottabad, Pakistan, and killed Usama bin Laden, one team member would be happy just to receive a doggie treat.

Among the commandos was a heroic canine – a bomb-sniffing dog who was attached to a team member as the SEALs were lowered from a Black Hawk helicopter into bin Laden’s hideout, The Sun reports.

The four-legged soldier has not yet been identified, but some speculate the breed was either a Belgian Malinois or German shepherd, a breed used frequently in raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The dogs are well-protected in these dangerous situations, armed with ballistic body armor, protective gear to shield against bullets and shrapnel, and infrared night-sight cameras that provide crucial feedback to troops and warn of potential ambushes, The Sun reports.

There are currently 600 dogs serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ensign Brynn Olsen of U.S. Central Command told the New York Times. In 2008, Gen. David Petraeus, current U.S. commander in charge of Afghanistan and soon to be CIA director, called for an increase in the number of dogs used by the military.

via Military Dog Used in Bin Laden Compound Raid – FoxNews.com.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Actually I am tired of this …

Steve King was the first member of Congress to float the inevitable question. “Wonder what President Obama thinks of waterboarding now?” the Iowa Republican tweeted shortly after Obama announced the death of the world’s most infamous terrorist. In the days since, even as they maintain the tacit truce that bans partisan potshots in the wake of bin Laden’s killing, Capitol Hill Republicans have advanced the idea that Bush-era “enhanced-interrogation techniques” were responsible for the tip that led intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound.

At least two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have made this claim. “The information that eventually led us to this compound was the direct result of enhanced interrogations; one can conclude if we had not used enhanced interrogations, we would not have come to yesterday’s action,” North Carolina Senator Richard Burr told CNBC Tuesday.

via Republicans Split Over Waterboarding’s Role in bin Laden’s Death | Swampland.

 Osama bin Laden’s death, War on Terror:  Why didn’t they suspect?

ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan – When a woman involved in a polio vaccine drive turned up at Osama bin Laden’s hideaway, she remarked to the men behind the high walls about the expensive SUVs parked inside. The men took the vaccine, apparently to administer to the 23 children at the compound, and told her to go away.

The terror chief and his family kept well hidden behind thick walls in this northwestern hill town they shared with thousands of Pakistani soldiers. But glimpses of their life are emerging — along with deep skepticism that authorities didn’t know they were there.

Although the house is large, it was unclear how three dozen people could have lived there with any degree of comfort.

via Bin Laden’s neighbors noticed unusual things – CBS News.

food, North Carolina:  North Carolina … sweet potatoes???

.Fodmap

The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More

05
Oct
10

10.5.2010 … bsf Isaiah today … The Song of the Vineyard … Woe … then errands …

nature, North Carolina: Just may have to drive up to see this one myself.

A unique annual phenomenon is about to take place again on a North Carolina mountainside where the autumn light creates a shadow shaped like a bear.

The shadow of the bear shows up from mid-October through early November as the sun sets behind Whiteside Mountain in southern Jackson County. It’s best seen on clear days around 5:30 p.m., with the show lasting for about a half-hour. Tourists and photographers hoping to see it often gather at the Rhodes Big View overlook along Highway 64, a little more than 4 miles from the town of Cashiers.

via Autumn light creates unique bear shadow in NC – Yahoo! News.

Continue reading ‘10.5.2010 … bsf Isaiah today … The Song of the Vineyard … Woe … then errands …’




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